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Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2011 Aug;14(4):415-21. doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2011.03.012. Epub 2011 Mar 30.

How nematodes manipulate plant development pathways for infection.

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  • 1Ghent University, Department of Molecular Biotechnology, Coupure links 653, 9000 Ghent, Belgium. Godelieve.Gheysen@UGent.be


Sedentary plant-parasitic nematodes establish long term relationships with their hosts. Root vascular cells are transformed into large multinucleate feeding cells from which the nematodes feed for more than one month. Recent transcriptome analyses suggest that feeding cells are different from other plant cell types. Their development, however, remains poorly understood, despite new evidence that appears to confirm previously proposed models, such as the important role of auxin. From the analysis of nematode effector proteins that interact with plant proteins, it has become clear that nematodes manipulate many aspects of plant development, including auxin transport and plant cell differentiation pathways. These studies are also revealing roles for effectors in the inhibition of plant stress and defense responses to establish feeding cells. In the coming years breakthroughs can be expected in our understanding of plant-nematode interactions from the functional analysis of nematode effector genes as well as the involved plant genes.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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